Spot

 

 

They dug a hole and placed him in it. They shoveled dirt atop. They nailed a plaque onto a post.

They stood and mumbled words.

They bowed their heads.

They shed some tears.

They did it the way it was done.

The way friendships were supposed to close.

And still it did not feel right. That kind of burying. The post with painted plaque. The tidy mound of dirt over their spot.

The next day they lugged the old doghouse and placed it on him.

For rain.

For moss.

For bones.

Even for rot.

After all, Spot loved the lot.

 

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

PHOTO PROMPT © Alicia Jamtaas

 

Long Term Parking

 

 

She let them think she didn’t mean it.

Though she had.

If she no longer could drive, then none of them were going to be able to.

At least not with her vehicle.

Sure, it was (another) way of shooting herself in the foot.

No doubt it was petty.

But petty was all she felt that she had left.

If she were to still be noticed.

Life was putting her in long-term parking.

Fine.

She was not going to let others earn more freedom by it.

So she drove the car into the fence, and left it.

And them.

Hanging.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Liz Young

 

Not Quite

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(Photo: Kajetan Sumila on Unsplash)

 

He was, but not quite, a solitudinarian.

He lived alone. His homestead perched atop a bluff where steep trails provided an effective fencing.

He offered bare gruff care for stranded hikers whose calculations of the weather led them to beg shelter.

Townspeople cast shadows on his hermitage. No sane man, they insisted, would give up their company.

He differed.

He came down from the mountain only rarely, for provisions he could not otherwise procure, his expression ascertaining that friendship remained off that list.

And yet.

He loved. The one. Before.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: solitudinarian in 90 words

 

Writing In The Sand

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She shifted her weight and sand squeezed warm between her toes. Heated not by sun – the orb still far too distant in such early spring – but because she’s been standing still so long that the permeating chill under her soles relented to the constant pulse of lifeblood in her veins.

A bird called. Another bird returned. An insect buzzed a disharmonious song. It will be summer soon.

She felt her chest rise in a breath and her eyes skimmed the expanse of shimmering ground, patient, waiting for the tide.

Today, perhaps, he’ll come.

Today, maybe, he will return home from the wild, where waves rose high and ships dipped low to the ocean’s floor.

There was a writing in the sand. A code left by the crabs. The gulls. The seaweed.

She waited. Wavelets licked her feet.

Perhaps today something of him will wash ashore.

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

His Hummingbird

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The day had been dreary so far. The cold. The damp. The boring wait for the car’s repair. The need to keep her body still and her mouth from chattering.

Gran did not let her wander. Or climb. Or touch things.

“You’ll get filthy.” Gran had stated. Like an ultimate sin.

At first Beth did try to argue. Daddy always said that filth is easy to wash off and that a bit of dirt was no excuse for sitting out good fun.

Gran did not think highly of Daddy.

“What judgment that man could have had in him,” Gran grumbled, “he’d given it up when he chose to leave my uterus early … and it only went downhill from there.”

Or up, Beth thought. He had promised to watch over her. Before the angels called.

“My Hummingbird,” he’d called her.

Her eyes rested on the sign. She smiled.

Hi Daddy.

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

All Things Considered

 

All things considered, she had everything she needed.

More than she thought was there, really. More than some might consider necessary.

She leaned back in her chair, then leaned forward to straighten a stray implement. Adjust another.

“Orderly desks make orderly minds,” Papa always said. Pointedly.

She might not manage to get much order in the latter, but she sure could try to tame the chaos of the former.

And it did look better organized, she had to admit.

Now, if only the desk could fill loan applications. Or order funds to her account so she could pay the bills.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt: Jan Wayne Fields

 

 

 

Watching

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“See there?”

Marie squinted against glare. “The windmills?”

“No.”

David’s finger shook along with his head, and Marie felt the wheelchair’s handles vibrate. The sorrow hit her, unexpected as always. Most days now she managed to surf life without being blindsided, but it was harder to do in this place, his favorite, where everything reflected the losses. His. Hers.

“The bird,” David insisted, his reedy voice robotic with timed inhalation.

His inflection was one of the first things to go, and its absence had robbed away a part of David that she’d adored from the moment he had first looked at her, dewy-eyed from birth, and mewled a symphony of baffled indignation.

“Ah, yes, the bird on the poles! I see it now,” she filled the space with words to compensate for his worsening inability to speak in sentences.

“Watching,” David exhaled, satisfied.

For the end? Marie silenced her sigh.

 

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

Note: Dedicated to all parents and caregivers, and to all who are navigating the throws of progressive illness. May you find peace, and space to breathe in, and may you know moments of joy and an abundance of love through life’s difficult path.

 

Not Forgotten

 

It was his favorite saying, so of course it was the one they chose. Never mind that no one else would understand the meaning. “Others,” he’d say, “have their own stories to hoard or trim or bloat or be rid of.”

They knew that no matter how far Heaven was, he’d see this and smile.

He’d taught them to let go of what held them down.

“Gone!” he would announce, tossing fistfuls of dirt to the wind to aid the transformation. “You’re free of this. You can move on!”

His motto gleamed above the desert sand.

Gone, but not forgotten.

 

 

Photo prompt © Trish Nankivell

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

All Color Gone

 

They will not be coming home.

She paced the few steps from her door to the deck’s edge and back again. She gazed up at the washed out sky. Watched as the shadows encroached on the small lawn to blanket the rocks in the graying garden. Her breath was heavy in her chest.

They will not be coming home.

With every blink, the hues were fading. Taking with them memories of laughter, of pitter-patter, of wet wool and hot cocoa steaming by the fire.

The telegram emblazoned in her mind.

The boys will not be coming home.

All color gone.

 

 

Note: Dedicated to all those who knew and know such loss.

Photo prompt: © Sarah Potter

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

Not Much Sweeter

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There was not much sweeter than Grandpa Gulliver’s honey. Then again, there was not much that was sweeter than honey. Berries, perhaps, in their short season. Or maple syrup, when they found it. But there were not many maples left anymore, and those she knew of were not particularly generous with their sap now that they had to parse energy for growing.

But there was Grandpa Gulliver’s honey. The slow pouring amber liquid of deliciousness. As valuable and as glorious as gold. The warmth of happy in her mouth.

Grandpa Gulliver had built Hive Homes for the bees. Tiny mansions of industry where workers and queens could shelter from the rain under eaves that shed the snow and cut the wind.

She used to watch the ins-and-outs for hours. The buzz. The promise.

Now they stood desolate.

No bees. No Grandpa Gulliver.

Who knew they’d all be taken, sweetness gone?

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge